How to Use VoC Insights from Employees & Customers to Improve Experiences


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We are often asked what sources of VoC insights should be used to improve the company’s customer experience. And often, these insights are right in front of you–from your own customers and employees.

Gain Insights From Your Customers

Your own customers will tell you what you are doing right or wrong if you give them an avenue for discussion. National Car Rental, a recent honoree in the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings uses insights from the frequent travelers in their Emerald Program to make ongoing improvements.

“We see the members of our Emerald Exchange Community as the eyes and ears of our team,” said Carol Jones, Director of Insights & Intelligence for National Car Rental , “ …they come back to us with photos, videos and narratives about what they’ve seen and experienced. They really are an extension of our team and their insights are truly invaluable.”

These insights have paid off for National Car Rental; Emerald Club membership are up 27% and revenue is up incrementally.

Gain Insights From Your Employees

Every member of your team has some type of interaction with customers whether directly or indirectly. And all can benefit from a united effort to understand VoC insights across all departments and levels.

Fast food company Chipotle has stated that they owe much of their growth to developing an atmosphere in whichemployees have unique access to customer experience via an experience culture. According to Steve Ellis Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer for Chipotle, “Our focus on our unique people… for a restaurant experience that is redefining fast food for the better.”

The company has taken the customer experience and broken it out byexperience components called “ 4 pillars of throughput”:

  • Expediters: keep track of every detail between the order placement and payment to be sure all is progressing well with a customer’s meal.
  • Linebackers: Make sure that everything is in place to prepare food so that the employees serving customers never turn their backs on them.
  • Mise en place (French for “putting in place”): Chipotle has a zero tolerance for not having absolutely everything in place for a good customer experience and these employees ensure that things are ready.
  • “Aces in their places”: A commitment to having the most important positions filled with experienced employees at the busiest times so that there are no problems or delays in customer experience.

This approach has paid off for Chipotle; Revenue is up 24.4%; same-store sales are up 13.4%; and net income is up 8.5.

How to Formulate Your Own VoC Insight Strategies:

  1. Evaluate Multiple Sources of VoC Insights.

    Evaluate the multiple sources of VoC insights available to you and their strengths and weaknesses. This can include: feedback from a Call Center, Field and Retail Reps, NPS, Email surveys, etc.

  2. Create Specific Questions Appropriate to Each VoC Vehicle.

    Develop strategies and questions specific and appropriate to each VoC vehicle, yet keep it easy for customers to rate their experiences. This might include an email survey the day after their sale; a tab on your FaceBook page for Customer Experience Ratings or, a form on your website for comments or questions, etc.

There may also be complex strategy goals which require in-depth, one on one VoC conversations with customers to understand what is not working and how they want it fixed.

To fully benefit from VoC insights first define how the information will be used and how it will be visible to multiple departments. Then put in place a set of appropriate actions for each set of learnings. This must all be actionable.

Ernan Roman
Ernan Roman (@ernanroman) is president of ERDM Corp. and author of Voice of the Customer Marketing. He was inducted into the DMA Marketing Hall of Fame due to the results his VoC research-based CX strategies achieve for clients such as IBM, Microsoft, QVC, Gilt and HP. ERDM conducts deep qualitative research to help companies understand how customers articulate their feelings and expectations for high value CX and personalization. Named one of the Top 40 Digital Luminaries and one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing.


  1. Developing an ambassadorial, customer-centric culture, in which all employees have access to customer insight data – whether they directly, or indirectly, interact with customers – is what can make an organization truly world-class. Ambassadorship builds on, but transcends, engagement due to its greater focus on customer experience optimization:

  2. Great point Michael!

    We have seen response rates from marketing campaigns increase by over 100% when employees understand the customer centric vision, receive the necessary empowerment, have access to the right data and are measured per customer focused metrics.
    HMS National is an Echo Award winning example of this innovation;


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